Shifting impatiently in the centre of a darkened room, Husain seems unfazed by the fascination of audiences, both young and old. He stands silently, tossing his signature paintbrush from one hand to the other waiting to be addressed. Possessing otherworldly energy as he did both in art and life, his witty repartee reverberates through the room as he answers questions posed by curious spectators. He answers everything from questions about his lack of footwear to his love for painting “on the go” and expensive cars. Audiences would be hard pressed to find a comparable experience to this holostage installation at MAP, which has been launched digitally for now, and will be part of the Museum’s physical space which is set to open in December 2021. The futuristic experience that enables audiences to interact with a world-renowned artist is the first-of-its-kind and a perfect example of the ever-expanding intersection between art, technology and education.
M F Husain’s digital persona as part of MAP and Accenture’s newly launched AI experience
Over the past decade, the boundaries between technology and art have blurred and merged giving rise to previously imagined science-fictionesque creations. The past year itself holds many examples of this, including the market explosion of non-fungible tokens, generative art and virtual reality experiences to name a few. While an auction held by Sotheby’s featuring digital creator PAK (The Switch) shifted the spotlight to the same, independent artists and creators like Dave Pollot (Higher Standards, 2021) and Instagram’s @dudewithsign (Seth) have successfully partaken in the trend, further proving that there can be no doubt we are experiencing a revolution in the creation, consumption and ownership of art in all its classical and modern forms.
The Switch, PAK, 2020, Digital creation/NFT, The Fungible Collection, Image courtesy: Sotheby’s (https://www.sothebys.com/en/digital-catalogues/the-fungible-collection-by-pak)
Higher Standards, Dave Pollot, 2021, Original Oil on Found Art (also released as NFTs), Image courtesy: the artist’s instagram page
Amongst this plethora of advancements, holograms are perhaps the most complex and enticing. The mission of providing diverse audiences with immersive, engaging and personal art experiences with a wide range of accessibility is paramount at MAP. While Husain lives on through his compelling and instantly recognisable work, a collaboration between MAP and Accenture Labs has led to a new method of interacting with the artist on a much deeper and personal level. Made possible using advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) combined with a human-centred design, the experience can now be enjoyed by people in the comfort of their homes with mobile, desktop and tablet friendly versions having been released on MAP’s website. This has helped in increasing accessibility and creating transparency within the previously shrouded world of AI in a user-friendly manner.
In a virtual discussion hosted by Ravi Gururaj, panellists discussed the advantages and potential pitfalls of the usage of artificial intelligence in everyday life. The conversation covered a range of topics, from deep-fakes in politics to the usage, development and ideation process behind the creation of this new era of media consumption. With a refreshingly diverse set of perspectives from the corporate to the fine arts spectrum, this inter-industry panel discussion is a must-watch. In case you missed the live event, watch the full discussion on MAP’s website here.